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Monday, July 08, 2013 3:36 AM

Trends in Full and Part-Time Employment; Obamacare Job Double Counting and Other Economic Distortions

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Reader Tim Wallace provided another excellent series of charts on the employment situation. These charts compare June employment in 2013 to June in prior years.

click on any chart for sharper image

June Employment

June Full-Time Employment

June Part-Time Employment

Wallace writes "Hello Mish. The full-time job loss since June of 2007 now tops five million. The overall job loss is still 2 million, in spite of the fact the US now has a working-age population that is 14 million higher than in June 2007."

Snapshot 2007 vs. 2013

YearTotal EmployedFull-TimePart-Time
2007146,958,000 123,554,000 23,404,000
2013144,841,000 118,470,00026,371,000

Snapshot vs. Prior Year

YearEmployment vs. Prior YearFull-Time vs. Prior YearPart-Time vs. Prior Year
20071,742,000 1,205,000 537,000
2010-944,000355,000 -1,299,000
2011247,000 -132,000379,000
20123,073,000 3,118,000 -45,000
20131,639,000 1,316,000 323,000

By this comparison only 2012 looks anything close to a normal recovery year. Some of the jump in 2012 is due to revisions from 2010 and 2011 that were not as bad as originally reported.

In the last year, the economy gained 1.316 million full-time jobs, about 110,000 a month. Overall jobs rose by 1.639 million, about 137,000 a month, a number just above what it should take to hold the unemployment rate flat.


Month-over-month distortions abound. As noted on Friday, Part-Time Jobs Increased by 486,000 with 326,000 Full-Time Jobs Lost.

Seasonally Adjusted Part-Time Employment

Wallace charts show non-adjusted numbers vs. the same month in prior years, and that is a valid statistical comparison.

Let's also look at seasonally adjusted numbers vs. the prior month, also a valid comparison.

The trend towards part-time employment since 2010 is volatile, yet unmistakable.

Part-Time Employment vs. Prior Month

Year Part-TimeEmployment

Obamacare Job Double Counting

The above part-time numbers do not show the trend one might expect. Moreover, establishment survey numbers show a fair amount of hiring (+195,000 in the latest report), with recent months revised higher.

Here's the problem: The establishment survey double counts jobs when someone takes an extra part-time job, whereas someone working two part-time jobs is counted as employed just once in the household survey.

For example: Thanks to Obamacare, someone who used to work 35 hours a week for Olive Garden now works 22 hours for Olive Garden and 12 for Applebees. And Someone who worked 35 hours for Applebees now works 22 for Applebees and 12 for Olive Garden. The establishment survey sees two additional jobs created when precisely zero jobs were created.

Since this is happening en masse, I expect downward revisions in the future over Obamacare Double Counting.

The Obamcare effect is real. The distortions are complicated, numerous, and not widely understood.

Obamacare Economic Distortion Synopsis

For more on Obamacare Economic Distortions, please peruse the above links to your heart's content.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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